In the world of business marketing, there are some common strategies for onboarding new customers or encouraging new audiences to engage with your brand. One popular strategy is called “incentivizing,” which means providing some variety of bonus for interested prospects.
There are many forms of incentives or enticements you can provide to potential customers, some monetary and others not. A rebate, for example, is a specific form of a bonus that offers a price reduction for products purchased through a retailer or distributor. Instant rebates happen at the time of the sale, while mail-in rebates require customers to show proof of purchase and send a form into the appropriate company.
Here are 7 Incentive Ideas to Help You Gain New Clients
One of the best things about providing incentives to your customers is that you don’t necessarily have to spend a great deal of money on the promotion. It could be something as simple as giving away a free sample or announcing a contest or sweepstakes.
A monumental 67 percent of consumers have made a purchase they weren’t originally planning on, merely because they discovered a coupon or promotional discount. It goes to show with the right incentives, you can entice people into making a purchase they wouldn’t have otherwise.
1. Bonus Product or BOGO
People love free stuff. Even if it’s not exactly the best quality or an ideal giveaway, they’ll still line up in the hundreds to take advantage of a bonus. That’s why one of the most popular incentives is to offer a bonus product or buy-one-get-one-free deal.
You can facilitate this in several different ways. For example, instead of giving away a free product for a regular purchase, why not offer an upgrade? You could also offer free items with a trial or test of certain products.
2. Contests and Sweepstakes
Often, you’ll see a company or brand incentivize a particular action through the use of promotional contests and sweepstakes — for example, “Fill out this survey to be entered into a prize drawing!” This strategy also works well for purchases or enticing new clientele to support your brand.
Hayneedle incentivizes customers who share their personal email address by entering them into a shopping spree contest. As soon as you land on the site, a pop-up appears prompting you to provide your contact information in exchange for a potential $5,000 shopping spree.
3. Trade-In Programs
A good way to keep your customers loyal — and garner repeat business — is to offer an incentivized upgrade program for new products and services. If you’re releasing an upgraded model of an old product, you can offer existing customers an upgrade path that allows them to acquire the new iteration for cheaper than buying it outright. You can also encourage them to trade in their old devices, allowing you to recoup costs by refurbishing and reselling.
4. Training or Information Sharing
Some products or items require additional knowledge and experience to use. When that’s the case, it’s entirely possible to share information, experience or offer a form of basic training to potential customers.
When introducing a new tool or piece of hardware, for example, one company might offer local courses on using it in various ways. Other companies might offer a free whitepaper or share industry-specific knowledge in return for a client’s loyalty.
New City Moving does exactly this by offering a free moving estimate to potential Chicago customers. They can request more information about hiring the company, and also get a free estimate — which would usually cost money elsewhere.
5. Exclusive Accessories
With the purchase of a new product or service, you can offer unique items or accessories to incentivize early adoption. You see this sort of thing a lot with collector’s and limited-edition versions of products, like video games, for instance.
The company will bundle an exclusive, limited-time item or accessory with the product, further encouraging customers to take advantage of the promotion — it works best when the add-on item isn’t available for purchase elsewhere.
6. Loyalty Programs
We’ve all heard of My Best Buy Rewards, Subway points, Amazon Prime, Kohl’s Rewards or something similar. Some of the most common loyalty rewards programs offer points or punch cards for frequent purchases. Frequent flyer miles through airlines and insurance discounts are additional forms of loyalty programs.
The system works exceptionally well for incentivizing consistent and continued purchases from a company or brand.
7. Surprise Your Customers
Remember when you were young and waking up on Christmas morning, happy to find presents under the tree? How about that feeling when a package or item you ordered finally arrives on your doorstep?
You can mirror this experience by surprising loyal customers with various rewards. For example, if you collect personal information from customers, such as their birthday, why not send them a small present the week of? Is this their first time buying a product from you? Why not send along a small bonus as a welcome gift?
VisionDirect in the UK always throws in a small package of Haribo gummy bears with each shipment of their contact lenses.
There are many social discussions dedicated to this practice, with customers outright praising the company for the surprise. You could even send a small surprise in the form of a discount or promotional offer.
Converting Prospects Into Regular Customers
Incentives and promotional offers will help you bolster those conversion numbers, turning potential clients and prospects into regular, loyal streams of revenue. The key to achieving such a thing in today’s hyper-connected market is leaving an indelible mark.
Work on providing your customers with a truly innovative and engaging experience and the rest will come. It just so happens incentivizing purchases and experiences is one of the best ways to engage an audience.